Nature has an ability to bring me peace in a way nothing else does. Sure I get annoyed by bugs or tired from hiking. But seeing the beauty, creativity, and complexity of what God has made has had a profound effect on my spiritual life. Have you ever just spent some time in God’s creation? Maybe it was hiking, lying on the beach, swimming in an ocean or a lake, fishing, gazing over the Grand Canyon, driving through the mountains, watching a thunderstorm or just playing in the rain. Take a minute to reflect on that time and what you felt. Looking back, do think you might have felt God’s presence? Did the awe and wonder of nature’s splendor bring you peace, or even lead you to thoughts about God?
The more I’ve come to know God the more there has grown in me an adoration and appreciation for his creation. Romans 1:20 states that God’s “invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” Nature is meant to declare to us the “invisible attributes” of God. And Scripture is clear that God is at work in his creation—maintaining and facilitating all that happens in the world. Psalm 147:8-9, 15-18 tells us,
He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills. He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry… He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. He gives snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes. He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold? He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.
When you see animals eating, you are witnessing God’s provision in the earth and can, as a result, know that he will provide for you. When you see snow fall, ice form, and springtime come to melt away the cold you can know that God is at work around you and in your life. To miss out on all creation speaks to us is to miss an important part of God’s voice.
You see, while God does an incredible job taking care of a world wrought with the effects of sin, he promises to take care of you even more. Jesus commands us in Matthew 6:26-30,
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Jesus teaches us to look upon creation and listen as it declares to us the nature of God. In fact, he commands us to do so. You can look at the grass of the field and know of God’s unwavering faithfulness for you. You can look at the birds and never wonder if you will get your next meal. Nature declares to us that God has and will provide for us all of our days. Nature tells us not to worry because God is both powerful and near. Nature tells us that God is creative, practical, brilliant, loving, and full of mystery and wonder. Nature tells us that God speaks.
God created the cosmos so that you might have another mysterious yet clear way of hearing his voice. Whether you live in the city or country, look upon God’s creation and listen for his voice. Ask him what he wants you to know as you see all the wonders of his hands. Let the beauty and mystery of all of God’s creation fill you with a deeper longing to know your heavenly Father. Listen to God today and allow your heart to be stirred as you discover his unwavering desire to speak to you through his creation.